Let’s talk about setting up a morning* routine so we can get our day off to a solid start — because how we start the day sets the tone for the rest of the day. Stress compounds — while calm sets us up better for more calm.
First off, some questions to consider (take 5 minutes, max):
- What are 1-3 things that you know help you relax, take a breather, and reset? Consider your head (to calm any swirling thoughts), heart (to allow space for any feelings and emotions to move through, rather than get shoved to the side (and stuck!)), and body (to work out the physical creaks, aches, and wonkies). Ideas: Taking a walk, stretching, making and sitting down with a cup of coffee, reading, drinking a glass of water, writing in a notebook, … . Now write them down (keep it to 1-3 things).
- If you could press pause in the morning and have an hour to yourself, how might you spend the time? Write down 1-2 ideas (whatever comes to mind first, ditch censoring yourself).
From your answers to 1 and 2 above, pick 1-2 things that sound good to you. Write them down.
Now, what is a super simple (and short) version of them? Seriously — super simple and short (that can be done in 5 minutes).
For example, if you like to read, you could read 1-2 pages. If you like to take a walk, you could walk up the street and back or up and down the driveway or stairs. If yoga is your thing, a quick version could be 4 sun salutations (or a couple of your favorite poses). If you’re a fan of journaling, you could grab pen and paper, set a timer for 5 minutes, and start writing — and then end when the timer beeps.
5 minutes may seem like nothing — yet can start a tidal wave of difference.
Now, let’s figure out the plan to make space for 5 minutes** in the morning.
- Wake up 5 minutes earlier.
- Skip scrolling through email and social media first thing after waking up. Instead, leave that for after you’ve done your reset.
- Prep the night before: Set out a yoga mat or a cup for your coffee or your book or your shoes, socks, and jacket.
- If kids are underfoot, invite them to join you or give them paper and crayons/markers/colored pencils to draw or put on a song for them to listen to (and once they get used to you taking those 5 minutes, they’ll probably stay out of your way or just go and do something to keep themselves occupied).
Next, help yourself remember: Put a reminder in your calendar or write a note and leave it where you’ll see it first thing in the morning.
Bonus: Share with a friend or let me know (accountability can help light a fire to make it happen!).
Then: Take 5 minutes today to do your reset routine. And then make it happen tomorrow morning.
I’ll be doing it with you.
5 minutes of resetting can save us MUCH.
Keeping our cool (and our sanity!) is worth it.
*So we don’t get caught up on wording, consider this your “what time of day that works for you” routine. I personally like the morning to get my head defuzzed and in line before I head into my day. And for someone who isn’t sure where to start, I recommend going with the morning to start. WITH THAT SAID: If a different time of day works best for you, go with it. This is about what works for YOU.
**Yes, we have 5 minutes. We can figure out a way to fit in 5 minutes worth of something to reset ourselves — because doing so will save us 5+ minutes during the day in yelling, frustration, or getting annoyed because we’re so sick and tired of running on this same damn hamster wheel every day. (And if you’re fighting yourself on this, consider if your kid was feeling stressed about homework and working to find a different way to handle it that would require them to do some exercises 5 minutes a day, and they came to you for help with doing the 5 minutes. You’d help them make 5 minutes, no question.) We are worth taking 5 minutes. Our kids and families are worth 5 minutes. And when we take 5 minutes to help ourselves, it helps our kids learn how to do so for themselves.